Urban Velo

I Love Riding in the City – Jeff Bequette

cityrideNAME: Jeff Bequette
LOCATION: Omaha, Nebraska

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Omaha Nebraska, a great town to raise kids and bike, if you like going North-South. Unfortunately, I live West and must go East to get to work. Very active in the bicycle world with a City Coordinator, great organizations and a plethora of shops covering the bike spectrum. It also helps we are next door to RAGBRAI and minutes from the Taco Ride.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Besides Omaha? Fayetteville/ North Cacalackey, was fun as day after day I proved it was faster to ride my bike to work (Ft. Bragg) than it was to drive, and minutes from urban were winding rural roads that begged to get hammered.

Why do you love riding in the city?

Riding in the city keeps you conscious, having to think a bit faster than the next cager coming at you and anticipate you moves ahead of time for the interplay of traffic. And to be in the right gear for the next hill.

Or just say whatever you want:
Dawn is breaking as I dodge another pothole I’d never noticed in my car. Commuting by bike enhances my awareness of the road, life stirring in the city, the golden light reflecting from buildings as the Sun cranks up for another day. Working third shift, my ‘morning’ commute starts at 8:00 PM, pouring coffee from the press into a thermos, checking the work clothes a last time, tightening the straps and turning on the lights. I clip in and am off on an 18 mile ride through West Omaha, then Grover and Vinton, discovering new communities on this route. A little boy waves to me from his porch and I wave back through the gathering dark, a blinking shape cutting through the night. I change at work and start bleeding off job stress with the first pedal stroke, heading west in the morning, cranking up from riverside towards home. Traffic starts to thicken as cagers rush eastwards to work, but stays light in the westbound lane. I dodge potholes and morning sprinklers, sprinting for lights and euphoric by the time I arrive home, warm and stress free, almost disappointed to end the day by going to bed.

I Love Riding in the City – Serge Kulyk

sergeNAME: Serge Kulyk
LOCATION: Washington DC
OCCUPATION: Systems Analyst

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Washington DC. At times it can be quite a challenge. With or without bike lanes, motorists in DC are not super attentive, not super informed or worst yet could have gotten their driver’s license in Maryland.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I have actually found that cities in Michigan, in particular Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Traverse city are some of the neatest places to ride. For the most part it has to do with density, in a city like Grand Rapids there is a good network of long trails, plenty of room on the roadways and with a favoritism towards highways and high speed roadways this leaves suburb streets and smaller/slower city street open and well maintained for bicycles. Ann Arbor in general is just a great city for cycling and Traverse City is just a vacation spot city, with a very laid back attitude and plenty of empty/twisty country roads just outside of town.

Why do you love riding in the city?
It is the ultimate in stress relief. It heightens all the senses you use in cycling. It is incredibly demanding but encourages and rewards the practice of observing good fundamentals.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Riding in the city is embracing what the bicycle was invented for. It is the future for the population growing, urban environment. It is appropriate that the tool humans created to enhance their mobility and celebrate their freedom will propel mankind to a green, healthy and bright future.

Check out www.thebikehouse.coop

I Love Riding in the City – Terry Crock

terryNAME: Terry Crock
LOCATION: Massillon, Ohio
OCCUPATION: Technology and Automation Shop Manager

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live near Massillon, Ohio. I build custom bicycles for myself and my children, which we use to ride on biking trails between Massillon, Navarre, Dalton, and Canal Fulton, Ohio. These are all small towns, fun and easy to ride around in, without much traffic. Canal Fulton has a canal boat pulled by horses that people can ride as the biking trail in that area follows the old Ohio and Erie Canal that was in during the 1800′s. Sometimes one has to make their way around the horses pulling the canal boat as one rides the trail. Massillon has a bicycle shop directly on the trail for any needed parts or repairs. The biking trails in this area are generally flat and easy to ride.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Right now that city would be Navarre, Ohio because it is somewhere safe to ride with my children. And one can smell the fresh bread being baked at Nickle’s Bakery!

Why do you love riding in the city?

The cities I ride in would be considered small with populations below 40,000. The good thing about that is the small town attitude in which auto drivers tend to see bicyclists as other people instead of targets.

Check out: undergroundvelo.proboards.com

I Love Riding in the City – Kendall

kendallNAME: Kendall
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah
OCCUPATION: Technician

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Riverton – a suburb of Salt Lake City, and ride/take the train to work in the heart of downtown every day. Salt Lake has a great cycling infrastructure, with wide streets and miles of dedicated bike lanes. During lunch, I’ll leave my bike chained up and take one of the city’s bike share bikes out for a ride.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
The only other city I have ridden in was London, which was equally harrowing and peaceful. The cars, lorries, and taxis fly past you, but it felt less chaotic than here in the states. It felt like they were aware of you.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Riding a bike is the best way to connect with a city, you are right in the middle of it all, and there is nothing separating you from the city. I’ve found more “hidden gems” and places of interest while riding around on my bike than by any other way.

I Love Riding in the City – Stu Babin

stuartNAME: Stu Babin
OCCUPATION: Hydrographer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Houma, Louisiana, the origin of Alan Moore’s {revised} Saga of the Swamp Thing. A story of monsters in the swamp might seem fanatical; however, it’s something I think about constantly as I ride the back-roads here.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel from CA to NYC and spent some time overseas while in the U.S. Navy. Mountain biking in Ocoee, Tennessee, is one place I will never forget, yet I still love riding in the swamps, my backyard, every weekend the most.

Why do you love riding in the city?
We’re primarily flatlanders down here (as near sea level or slightly below), but we have an excellent mix of gravel and dirt roads through sugar cane farm roads along with smooth and rugged asphalt through lonely swamps. In addition, just under a hour drive away, there are superb mountain biking trails in Norco, LA and one of the best urban cycling escapes called “the Big Easy,” the city of New Orleans.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city…Poetry anyone?

I wrote this poem a few years ago about riding treacherous bayous only a few brave will witness…

The Beast
You shouldn’t have come here.

As demons rise from your forgotten memories
volume set to creature overtones of this swamp
and here I ride, half-naked across damp grass watching.
The smell of death always finds me.
Sweat dripping rhythm from the Devil’s breath
sipping the witches brew under yellow eyes
as my skin begins to burn from her disease.
The crow flies bringing cooler wind of change.
And wickedness is his reflection in murky water
as ghosts of harmony slowly disappear,
The beast craves blood.
Discover an unfamiliar place of the same.
Your darkness hidden under stories by others
could turn back now, but you won’t,
it’s too late.
You shouldn’t have come here.


I Love Riding in the City – Dan Kehlenbach

NAME: Dan Kehlenbach
LOCATION: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
OCCUPATION: Strength and Conditioning Coach

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
My wife is active duty military and we are currently stationed in Puerto Rico. We live in Old San Juan and by far the best way around the city is by bike. Traffic can be quite challenging and the roads here weren’t designed to handle the volume of vehicles that currently make their way in and out of the city.
Old San Juan is a gem in terms of history and architecture. By using my bike to get around, I can enjoy and take in all the sites. I am currently using a Brompton to get around. No bike racks, no problem – I’ll just take my bike in with me.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Hands down Anchorage, Alaska. You can get all over the city on multi-use trails. There’s all kinds of great restaurants, bookstores and parks that can be accessed by bike. Studded tires makes it possible to ride year round. Oh, just watch out for the moose. They’re all over!

Why do you love riding in the city?
There’s so much to take in while in the city and riding around allows me to really enjoy it without worrying about parking, traffic jams, and all the hassles about driving. Photography is a hobby of mine and I’ll always have a camera with me while riding, and this is a great city to photograph!

Check out http://www.pbase.com/dan_kehlenbach/root

I Love Riding in the City – Derek Gray

derekNAME: Derek Gray
LOCATION: Washington, D.C
OCCUPATION: Bicycle Mechanic

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
DC can’t be duplicated. You can ride along the river and through Rock Creek Park, cruise down the National Mall and by some monuments, or deal with the hustle and bustle of Downtown and Chinatown. It’s a small city but the terrain is so varied from neighborhood to neighborhood. What do you want to ride? DC has it. Also, with our low skyline, it’s always sunny.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say Denver was my favorite. The view is spectacular and I love the rare air. And there’s just so many beautiful parks to ride past.

Why do you love riding in the city?

It’s just the best feeling. Once I get into rhythm with traffic (cars and bicycles) I don’t want to stop. But, if I need to, I know there’s an abundance of cafes, shops, bars, and overall points of interest on any given corner if a breather is in order.

I Love Riding in the City – Michael McCollum

michaelNAME: Michael McCollum
LOCATION: Columbus, OH
OCCUPATION: Mechanical Engineer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I just emigrated from Louisville up to Columbus earlier this year. So far my rides have been recreational tours around the city while also dabbling in the local MTB trails with my fiance. Louisville was flatter than Columbus with a lot more riding in traffic, while Columbus has a fantastic network of bike trails through the city. The polo scene is also better and more invigorated here. I’m also still getting used to the level of biking infrastructure here and the convenience it provides – Louisville just got its first green ‘bike boxes,’ whereas, they’ve been around here for a while I’m told.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?

Chicago. Big buildings, stretch busses and bridges made for a welcome assortment of travel companions. Then hopping on the subway and doing it all again. Of course, renting a mountain bike for the day while on the Galapagos was also pretty awesome.

Why do you love riding in the city?
The state of zen it brings while taking the time to get where I’m going. The perspective you get while travelling by car, then by bike and finally by walking are always so drastically different … I enjoy the level of detail I can appreciate while on a bike and still get places quickly. It clears my head and calms my soul.

I Love Riding in the City – Piotr

NAME: Piotr
LOCATION: Warsaw, Poland
OCCUPATION: IT Administrator

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Warsaw . Officially 2 millions people lived here but i think this number is underestimate. Traffic is high especially when workers and pupils go to offices and schools. So in the morning and early evening main streets are jammed. Public transport is quite effective but “nothing compares to simple pleasure of a bike ride”. In bad circumstances to reach the place of my work by bus takes me about 2 hours, by bike – 30 minutes.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
In addition to the Warsaw I ridden in Berlin. Awareness and care of other who use road in Berlin impressed me. It was like “haven” for cyclists. But in the longer term could be boring.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Because of small amount and poor quality of bike paths I ride in traffic. Sometimes it’s very dangerous. I have to be focused, to have eyes in the back of the head and predict the behavior of other drivers. I have to be here and now – without thinking. I love it, especially after a hard day at work!

I Love Riding in the City – Matthew Pierce

pierceNAME: Matthew Pearce
LOCATION: Forbes NSW Australia
OCCUPATION: College Science Coordinator

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live smack bang in the centre of NSW, Australia in a town called Forbes. It is fantastic riding here as we have perfectly undulating rises and falls in the landscape. You can ride around Lake Forbes or take a leisurely ride throughout the town enjoying the safe wide roads.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Melbourne is by far the best place to ride. It is becoming a popular place for cycle commuters. There are plenty of bike stores, cafés, restaurants, and secret back alleys.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I love to beat my mates to work. I enjoy the feeling of human power beating motors! I love having a beer after I ride home from work and knowing I didn’t pay for fuel and I had a workout!

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